Days after his September residency ended at the Chesterfield Cafe in Moscow, Lester Butler found himself at Chesterfield’s Madrid outpost for a stint Oct. 1-12, 1997.
It was the reconfigured 13 lineup of Butler, drummer Eddie Clark, Mike Hightower on bass and Curtis Smith on guitar. Smith was the likely guitarist on the Moscow gigs as well.
It’s an interesting time for the band, and Clark kept papers, photos and video from the tour (which he shared with NoFightin.com).
Some of the coolest items in Clark’s collection are the fliers and handbills from these gigs. The small concert booklet el Foro en Vivo offered biographies of the acts at the Chesterfield Club. This bio, translated from Spanish, is similar to the Moscow version:
Thirteen is the lucky number for this Blues Band that has backed a significant list of stars. Mick Jagger himself wanted them to collaborate with him on his solo album. An excellent and very warm Blues Band led by the charismatic Lester Butler (singer and harmonica player) who come from Los Angeles.
Butler was in good company, with Popa Chubby, Los Strait Jackets and, again, Hook Herrera also on tour at the Chesterfield chain that winter.
Unlike from the previous stints, live recordings of Butler’s band in Madrid do survive. Here is a great jump instrumental, called “Boogie At Midnight,” from the Oct. 4, 1997, show:
These residencies must have been favorites for the band: Several nights of guaranteed gigs without travel and nightly setup and teardown. They had downtime in the day to actually enjoy a city (as seen in the Moscow video), and booking was made all the easier with Chesterfield’s several locations through Europe.
It probably took Butler back to the early ’90s, too, when The Red Devils had to satisfy the same crowd Monday after Monday at the King King in Hollywood.
Lester Butler at the Chesterfield Cafe
Lester Butler and his band played three residencies at Chesterfield Cafe clubs. Check out the rest of the series on NoFightin.com.